Merkel: Backstop Can Be ‘Overwritten’

Merkel has given a strong hint that the EU could be prepared to move on the backstop, telling a German press conference that the backstop will be “overwritten” if alternative solutions can be found. This doesn’t actually change the EU’s position yet – as things stand the UK would still be signing up to the backstop in the legally-binding Withdrawal Agreement while the alternative arrangements would be in the non-binding political declaration. It’s still a significant softening of the EU’s rhetoric around the backstop after stonewalling the issue throughout the Tory leadership contest…

It’s good timing, the Alternative Arrangements Commission run by ProsperityUK, led by Greg Hands and Nicky Morgan, published their 268-page Alternative Arrangements Report and Protocols just yesterday. No solution for the Irish border is going to be perfect from day one but it does blow apart the fiction promulgated by May and the EU that the backstop is the only way to solve the border issue. The backstop remains by far the single biggest impediment to a sensible deal, no excuse for either sides’ negotiators not to be looking at alternative arrangements now…

mdi-timer 19 July 2019 @ 11:27 19 Jul 2019 @ 11:27 mdi-comment Comments
Lidington Skewered Over Backstop

David Lidington’s lacklustre performance at the Despatch Box was summed up by his dithering response to this question from Mark Francois on whether it was still Government policy to “replace” the backstop, after already refusing to commit himself to leaving a customs union in response to Greg Hands. Not hard to see why Brexiteers have little faith with lifelong Europhile Lidington now supposedly leading the renegotiations…

mdi-timer 6 February 2019 @ 13:15 6 Feb 2019 @ 13:15 mdi-comment Comments
The Behaviour of Government Ministers

Greg Hands on the peculiar behaviour of some Government ministers…

“Am genuinely confused. Apparently, members of the Conservative Government are threatening to resign if they can’t vote away the Government’s power to govern to a Labour-led cross party group of MPs.”

mdi-timer 24 January 2019 @ 08:30 24 Jan 2019 @ 08:30 mdi-comment Comments
Juncker’s “Monster” Spreads Shameless Fake News in Spat With Greg Hands

Greg Hands’ much-shared ConHome article yesterday on the malicious motives of top EU officials towards Brexit appears to have seriously ruffled some Eurocrat feathers. European Commission boss Martin Selmayr, lovingly referred to by colleagues as “Juncker’s Monster” and “Darth Vader”, tweeted angrily this morning:

Hands had committed the heresy of, er, quoting on-the-record statements from Selmayr and Barnier’s deputy Sabine Weyand in prominent British and German media outlets. As fluent German-speaker Hands himself pointed out in response:

“There are 17 separate sources to my article, all German & UK media, all mainstream publications (Times, Welt, BBC etc), all individually linked to. So what is “false” about it? Most prominently, the interview you yourself gave to the Passauer Neue Presse.”

EU hostility to any serious level of press scrutiny is no surprise. Claiming outright “we have never said this” is straight-up fake news from the EU’s top official…

mdi-timer 9 January 2019 @ 10:24 9 Jan 2019 @ 10:24 mdi-comment Comments
Hands Rinses Bercow

A subtle demolition of Bercow by Greg Hands:

“Mr Speaker, we all need to keep our election pledges, and that, Mr Speaker, applies whether we made those pledges one year ago or nine years ago.”

He lied…

mdi-timer 27 June 2018 @ 13:13 27 Jun 2018 @ 13:13 mdi-comment Comments
Hands Off Over Heathrow Vote

Greg Hands has resigned from the government as it emerged there will be a whip on the Heathrow vote on Monday. Hands is a longstanding campaigner against a third runway. He tweeted:

“As the Government will be whipping the vote on Monday, this means I am resigning from the Government. It has been an honour to serve the Prime Minister (and her predecessor) for the last 7 years and I wish the PM & the Government every continuing success.”

More could follow…

mdi-timer 21 June 2018 @ 11:37 21 Jun 2018 @ 11:37 mdi-comment Comments
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